U.S. Cites Exception in Torture Ban
Bush administration lawyers, fighting a claim of torture by a Guantanamo Bay detainee, yesterday argued that the new law that bans cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees in U.S. custody does not apply to people held at the military prison.Meanwhile
In federal court yesterday and in legal filings, Justice Department lawyers contended that a detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, cannot use legislation drafted by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to challenge treatment that the detainee's lawyers described as "systematic torture."
Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, asked why fines for conditions that endanger miners are "always pleaded out to be the least amount." He said that minimal fines are "part of the real tragedy of recent years."And elsewhere
Senator Kennedy noted that in some cases that proposed penalties of hundreds of thousands of dollars had been whittled down to a few thousand dollars. "It's illustrative that penalties are not achieving safety."
For more than 10 years, Jason Peltier was a paid advocate for the irrigation-dependent farmers here in the Central Valley of California, several hundred landowners who each year consume more water than the city of Los Angeles does.
Now Mr. Peltier works for the Bush administration, and he helps oversee the awarding of new water contracts for the people he used to represent as head of the Central Valley Project Water Users Association. The federal contracts, tying up water for a quarter-century or more from the world's largest irrigation project, have the potential to bring the farmers a huge windfall if they turn around and sell the water on the open market.
At the same time Mr. Peltier — as the deputy assistant secretary for water and science at the Interior Department — is involved with reviewing a request by the water association to stop paying up to $11.5 million a year into an environmental restoration fund, as required by a 1992 law.
I think this speaks for itself.